Why some things don’t work and how we can make them work

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

We’re both quite cynical and critical people (although we’re nice as well, most of the time). We also value nuance. So when we make an argument and later we realise that the subject’s more nuanced, we course-correct. That’s why we wrote this blog. In 2015, we wrote ‘Learning the Smart Way’, in which we discussed a top 5 (effective) and a flop 5 (ineffective) learning strategies.

After some long and hard thinking, as well as reviewing some new evidence, we’d like to bring some nuance into the discussion. Nothing is absolute; everything is relative. Just about anything we do as teacher or instructional designer will work somewhere in some situation with someone. On the other hand, nothing that we can do works everywhere with everyone. When we choose to use the microwave oven, the efficacy of our microwaving depends on what we want…

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